Boxall's 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die discussion

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message 1: by Emu (new)

Emu | 60 comments So I was thinking it would be interesting to hear about your 1001-reads of 2017.

What was your best list read of 2017?

Which list book read in 2017 surprised you the most (good or bad)?

What was your worst list read of 2017?

My total of list books read this year is not very long, so my status is quickly done.

My best read was The Handmaid's Tale, I actually didn't know about the tv-series coming out when I read it.

My surprise was Candide, which was so much easier and funnier to read than I had thought it would be.

My worst read was Everything Is Illuminated - which I gave 2 stars.


message 2: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) I only read 6 off the list last year -- I will definitely need to improve that.

What was your best list read of 2017?
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Which list book read in 2017 surprised you the most (good or bad)?
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
I thought it would be a lot more dry than it was.

What was your worst list read of 2017?
The Professor's House by Willa Cather


message 3: by Bob (new)

Bob Kaufman (bobkaufman) | 375 comments What was your best list read of 2017?
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Which list book read in 2017 surprised you the most (good or bad)?
The Monk by Matthew Lewis

What was your worst list read of 2017?
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs


message 4: by Sammy (new)

Sammy (sammystarbuck) | 14 comments My favourite was probably 'The curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time', although 'Of Human Bondage' would come a close second.

Most surprising was 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist'. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it at all, but I LOVED the format!

Least favourite... I am going to go with 'Atonement'. I didn't hate it, but thought it was pretty dull.
I was also expecting so much more of 'To Kill a Mockingbird', and after all the great things I'd heard, I was left feeling very disappointed.


message 5: by Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (last edited Dec 31, 2017 10:36AM) (new)

Bryan--The Bee’s Knees (theindefatigablebertmcguinn) | 629 comments My best count seems to be 35 books from the list this year.

The best was probably One Hundred Years of Solitude, though I also re-read La peste by Camus, which is one of my all-time favorites.

I enjoyed War and Peace, but I'm probably just as happy to have it struck off the list as I was happy to read it.

My biggest surprise was probably finding out a couple of books that weren't on the list that I thought were (and should be): The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter and My Ántonia

Good surprises: Jane Eyre and The Sun Also Rises
Meh surprise: Midnight's Children

Crash was the book I liked the least, though the best thing I can say right now about Ulysses is that I'm really really glad I've got that one checked off.


message 6: by Ellinor (new)

Ellinor (1001andmore) | 768 comments Mod
My favourite title this year was Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin. It‘s a novel written as a 200 page long ballad, absolutely fantastic.

The biggest surprise for me was Invisible by Paul Auster. With Mr Auster I‘m never sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised here.

My least favourite books were The Atrocity Exhibition by J.G. Ballard and Carry Me Down by M.J. Hyland. I‘m surprised how those two made it onto the list.


message 7: by Tim (new)

Tim | 314 comments My 2017 favorite was Gustave Flaubert, A Sentimental Education. Other favorites include George Eliot, Adam Bede; Aldous Huxley, Crome Yellow; and, Iris Murdock, Under the Net.

My least favorite reads were Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights and Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.


message 8: by Tasha (last edited Jan 01, 2018 05:28AM) (new)

Tasha | 84 comments I read 16 books from the list in 2017.

My favorite was probably The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.

My most surprising was The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. I was intimidated to read this one, but i loved it!

My least favorite was V. by Thomas Pynchon.


message 9: by Ann A (last edited Jan 02, 2018 12:51PM) (new)

Ann A (readerann) | 89 comments I only read 12 from the list in 2017. I'll do better this year!

It's hard to pick one favorite, but I loved The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

I was surprised to like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?.

Least favorite was To Have and Have Not.


message 10: by Rowizyx (new)

Rowizyx | 37 comments I only read 8 from the list this year...

My favorites were Solaris, Love Medicine and So Long a Letter

My least favorite... mm, Dirty Havana Trilogy


message 11: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 50 comments Favorite: Giovanni's Room

I was surprised to hate Love in the Time of Cholera. I really liked One Hundred Years of Solitude, so I expected to like his others. Now I don't want to read anything else by him.

Least favorite: There's several contenders that I gave up on, but I stuck with Crime and Punishment the longest, so it wasted the most of my time.


message 12: by Nola (new)

Nola Tillman (scottiegazelle) | 26 comments Wow, I only read three list books. Which makes it easy to classify, I suppose.

Schindler's List was hand's down my favorite.
I was disappointed somewhat in Tono-Bungay, I had been long looking forward to it.
And although I knew it would be dark, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame still managed to surprise me. Definitely a good read though.

I'm off to a better start, as I kicked off New Year's Eve by starting Stranger in a Strange Land, with a goal of reading at least one list book a month.


message 13: by Sammy (new)

Sammy (sammystarbuck) | 14 comments Nola wrote: "I'm off to a better start, as I kicked off New Year's Eve by starting Stranger in a Strange Land, with a goal of reading at least one list book a month."

My second favourite Heinlein book!

He's the most misogynistic old letcher, but one forgives him because his books are so darned entertaining!


message 14: by Laurence (new)

Laurence | 21 comments I read 26 list books last year. (My goal is to read 25 books of the list each year, so hurrah)

What was your best list read of 2017?
Cancer Ward, but I also really loved A Visit from the Goon Squad

Which list book read in 2017 surprised you the most (good or bad)?
Cancer Ward definitely, I only read it because it was a group read here, the title didn't sound inviting and neither did the look of the (only) old Dutch edition of this book, but the book turned out to be a real beauty.

What was your worst list read of 2017?
The Scarlet Letter (Words, too many words)


message 15: by Shannon (new)

Shannon (dakterpeppir) | 3 comments I read 65 books from the list this year! More than I thought I did!

What was your best list read of 2017?
House of Leaves! I know not everyone likes unique writing styles but this was an amazing book to read!

Which list book read in 2017 surprised you the most (good or bad)?
A Modest Proposal. Did not know what it was going to be about but I thought it was funny

What was your worst list read of 2017?
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I could not get into this book at all and it was a struggle to get through.


message 16: by Diane (new)

Diane  | 2201 comments Mod
I read 132 list books in 2017, so it is hard to come up with just one of each superlative.

My favorite was probably Dom Casmurro, but One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Blind Assassin, The Roots of Heaven, The Last Chronicle of Barset, and Eugénie Grandet were also 5 star reads for me.

My least favorite was Platform, with Dirty Havana Trilogy, The Atrocity Exhibition,and The Piano Teacher coming in close on its heels.

The book that surprised me the most was They Shoot Horses, Don't They?. It is very powerful for such a short book. The ending totally surprised me.


message 17: by Craig (new)

Craig | 241 comments Best: Rebecca, Cryptonomicon,
Surprised: Solaris, Orlando
Least or Disappointing: A Town Like Alice, The Devil and Miss Prym


message 18: by Cara (new)

Cara  (shortpenguin) | 8 comments My favorites for this year were The Shining and The Hobbit. The Hobbit also surprised me the most as I didn't think I'd enjoy it as much as I did. I just didn't really like reading the LOTR trilogy (granted, I did read them quite a few years ago), so I assumed I wouldn't really like The Hobbit. But I loved it.

The worst list read was The Scarlet Letter.


message 19: by J_BlueFlower (new)

J_BlueFlower (j_from_denmark) | 387 comments What was your best list read of 2017?

Madame Bovary
The Plot Against America
The Dispossessed
Die Vermessung der Welt (a very positive surprise. I love bad-ass scientists).
The Bell Jar

Which list book read in 2017 surprised you the most (good or bad)?

The Sound and the Fury: Very hard to start this one. The first part is crazy. I really cannot explain more, since almost anything is a spoiler. In the end the book turned out to be readable and even understandable. I ended up re-reading the first part and was surprised again.

What was your worst list read of 2017?

The 39 Steps: My only 2-star read from the 1001-list in 2017. I guess it belongs on the 1001-list for some sort of historical importance? The beginning of the spy genre? I wasn't much entertained and it left me with nothing.


message 20: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) J_BlueFlower wrote: "What was your best list read of 2017?

Madame Bovary
The Plot Against America
The Dispossessed
Die Vermessung der Welt (a very positive surprise. ..."


What did you think of The Bell Jar?


message 21: by J_BlueFlower (new)

J_BlueFlower (j_from_denmark) | 387 comments The Bell Jar: 4-stars. I read the first half of it thinking it was ”just” about depression. But it turns out it was just as much about how unfree women were and gaining freedom in being able to decide what will happen to ones body – at least getting on equal terms with men. The language is delicate and poetic.


message 22: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten  (kmcripn) Thanks! I've been meaning to read it.


message 23: by Melanti (new)

Melanti | 50 comments J_BlueFlower wrote: "The 39 Steps: My only 2-star read from the 1001-list in 2017. I guess it belongs on the 1001-list for some sort of historical importance? The beginning of the spy genre? I wasn't much entertained and it left me with nothing. . ..."

I don't have a copy of the book handy, but I believe that's correct. Maybe not THE beginning but one of the earliest examples of a spy thriller.


message 24: by Emu (new)

Emu | 60 comments Melanti wrote: "J_BlueFlower wrote: "The 39 Steps: My only 2-star read from the 1001-list in 2017. I guess it belongs on the 1001-list for some sort of historical importance? The beginning of the spy genre? I wasn..."

The 1001 book says that "the novel is important in establishing a formula for the spy thriller: car chases, elaborate disguises and an urgent quest to avert disaster."

I remember it as an ok read, I gave it 4 stars. And when looking that up just realised that it is the first in a series.


message 25: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahbethie) | 437 comments I read 54 list books in 2017.

What was your best list read of 2017? Tie

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. The ending brought tears to my eyes.

Swann's Way by Marcel Proust. This is one of few titles that I didn’t enjoy at first that I utterly loved by the end.

Which list book read in 2017 surprised you the most (good or bad)? Tie

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. She held my attention throughout. It was really good.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I’ve seen the movie and didn’t know what to expect from the book. The story pulled me in from the start.

What was your worst list read of 2017?

Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth. The story was very disjointed. It started well but fell flat.


message 26: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Dawn | 170 comments What was your best list read of 2017?

Either "The Wars" or "The passion of New Eve"

Which list book read in 2017 surprised you the most (good or bad)?

"The Third Policeman" and "The passion of New Eve": I was not prepared for anything about either of those books but it was a good surprise, I was so thoroughly amused I gave them both 5 stars.

What was your worst list read of 2017?

Probably "Old Souls". it wasn't horrendous, but just boring and navel-gazey and I didn't care. I gave it 2 stars.


message 27: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Bacon (raggedtig) | 11 comments What was your best list read of 2017?Never Let Me Go

Which list book read in 2017 surprised you the most (good or bad)?The Razor's Edge in a good way. I never expected to love Maugham.

What was your worst list read of 2017?The Absentee


message 28: by Arukiyomi (new)

Arukiyomi | 270 comments 2017 was a Good (64%) year with 24 books read including 23 from the 1001 Books list. The exception was Norwegian Wood which I thought was on the list but turned out not to be.

This was the lowest annual tally of books completed since I began the list in late 2006. For the first time, there were two months (January and October) where I finished no books at all.

In total, I read approx. 13,000 pages, including one of the 1001 list’s shortest (Silk) and one of its three longest (1001 Nights) which means I’ve read the three longest books on the list (with Dance to the Music of Time and In Search of Lost Time making up the other two). Only one book, The Forsyte Saga, made it to my Hall of Fame. The most balanced book was The Feast of the Goat with a standard deviation of only 0.0709, while the most unbalanced was Ulysses (2.766). The worst book of the year was the very first one I read: Against the Day achieved only 20%.

See my whole year at http://arukiyomi.com/?page_id=6163


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